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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best tea tree oil face creams

Last Updated April 2020

Tea tree oil has become popular in skincare products, and for good reason. This essential oil’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties work wonders for treating acne. On its own, tea tree oil is quite potent, but when it’s diluted into some lotion or cream, you’ve got a great moisturizer for acne-prone skin.

Before you rush to add tea tree oil face cream to your cart, there are some considerations to keep in mind. What’s your skin type? Is your skin sensitive? Tea tree oil has a distinctive scent that can be overpowering for some. The environmentally conscious may want an organic, paraben-free formula as well.

Regardless of your skincare needs, tea tree oil face cream is worth adding to your skincare routine. In this buying guide, we’re pleased to offer you more information on tea tree oil face cream’s benefits and how to use it, as well as some of our favorites.

Tea tree oil face creams with relatively small amounts of tea tree oil (5% or less) are safe to use on children. Just be sure an adult is the one applying the cream.

Key considerations

Uses

Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia (aka tea tree), which is native to Australia. The colloquial name is derived from the 18th century sailors who would make a tea from the leaves. Widely used in cosmetics, aromatherapy, and beauty products, tea tree oil is versatile. It may treat wounds and soothe aches and pains, largely thanks to its antibacterial properties. Since acne is caused by bacteria and oil buildup, tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties apply to acne, too. And acne isn’t the only skin condition that benefits from tea tree oil: it can also reduce inflammation caused by eczema and psoriasis.

Tea tree oil is potent and should always be diluted. Luckily, tea tree oil face cream is an easy solution. You can use tea tree oil face cream the way you’d use other face creams. After cleansing your face, rub a thin layer of cream on your face until it’s covered, avoiding the areas closest to your eyes.

Ingredients

Sulfates are in household products like soaps, detergents, and cleansers. There are actually both natural and synthetic sulfates, but the latter are what consumers are concerned about. They’re responsible for the foaming reaction that creates suds, which may help you feel cleaner but can dry and irritate the skin, especially sensitive skin.

Parabens are popular preservatives in a number of sunscreens, lotions, and other cosmetic products. Consumers are aware of parabens now more than ever. Parabens mimic estrogen, and some studies have linked parabens to breast cancer. While these studies are somewhat inconclusive, you may still want to avoid parabens in your beauty products. Fortunately, it’s becoming easier to find sulfate-free and paraben-free body creams. Simply search for those phrases on the label or scan the ingredient list.

Skin type

Oily: As counterintuitive as it may seem, oils are often the miracle ingredient for acne sufferers with oily skin. Tree tree oil actually helps dissolve oils on the skin, reducing oil production. People with oily skin won’t need to apply a tea tree oil face cream more than once a day.

Dry: For some, isolated tea tree oil can dry skin out and cause irritation. Luckily, people with dry skin can enjoy the oil’s benefits with a lotion. If you’re still concerned about dry skin, try looking for an oil with vitamin E, shea butter, coconut oil, and/or olive oil.

On the other hand, tea tree oil is also known to reduce itching, particularly itching caused by psoriasis and eczema. These conditions do cause skin dryness. In short, there’s no way of knowing how tea tree oil face cream will affect your skin until you try it.

EXPERT TIP

As a rule of thumb, lotion shouldn’t be applied to open wounds. Tea tree oil face creams may be an exception since they’re antiseptic. Either way, double-check the label to confirm.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Scent

Essential oils can be pleasant and calming, but chances are slim that you’ll find significant tea tree oil in any popular perfumes. Some consider the smell rather antiseptic. To be fair, it is an antiseptic product. You may wish to put the cream on when you’re not going out. Or better yet, find a tea tree oil face cream that’s blended with other ingredients that have a more pleasant smell. Lavender and peppermint oil both complement tea tree oil’s scent. Scented coconut oil works, too. Lemongrass oil, though light, adds a freshness that softens the overpowering tea tree oil.

Accessories

Lotion dispenser: Cornucopia Brands Glass Dispensers
If tea tree oil face cream will be a mainstay in your bathroom, it’s worth getting a stylish dispenser to keep it in. These simple, rustic amber glass bottles will protect your lotion from light. They come with two erasable chalk labels. You can use one for lotion and the other for hand soap.

Toner: Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Toner
Toner removes the extra dirt and oils that your cleanser can miss. This witch hazel toner cleanses and moisturizes at the same time. The lack of alcohol means it’s gentle on sensitive skin. Aloe vera adds extra moisture. Plenty of buyers say they notice clearer skin within a few weeks.

EXPERT TIP

For a pleasing on-the-spot manicure, rub a bit of tea tree oil face cream into your cuticles.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tea tree oil face cream prices

Expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $35 for tea tree oil face cream. Pricing depends on the manufacturer, quantity, tea tree oil concentration, and amount of natural ingredients.

Inexpensive: If you encounter a quality tea tree oil face cream that’s under $10, there’s a decent chance it’s a small quantity — an ounce or less. Otherwise, you’d be hard-pressed to find an organic cream at this price.

Mid-range: From $10 to $20 is the sweet spot. Most of the tea tree oil face creams we recommend fall into this price range. These creams usually contain between 2 and 4 ounces of product. Quite a few are manufactured in the USA and are paraben- and sulfate-free. The better ones are free of artificial fragrances, too.

Expensive: There’s no real need to spend more than $20 on a tea tree oil face cream. The creams in this price range may include 5 ounces or more of product or be manufactured by a local company or imported from Australia.

EXPERT TIP

Tea tree oil can be an effective remedy for mild acne marks. You may get the same results with lotion, but it’ll take longer since the tea tree oil will be diluted.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Keep tea tree oil cream away from children. Tea tree oil is toxic when consumed. Even though it’s less concentrated in lotion form, avoid ingesting the face cream and keep it away from children.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure after using a tea tree oil cream. The oil can render skin more sensitive to UV exposure.
  • Watch for any skin reactions. If your skin becomes red, irritated, or itchy with use, stop using the face cream immediately.

Other products we considered

Though we’re confident in the quality of all the products we recommend, we also know that options are nice to have. That’s why we also like the Oleavine Tea Tree Oil Lotion. Users with varying skin conditions from folliculitis to acne praise how quickly this lotion works. And not just on the face: Oleavine’s oil can tackle body and foot conditions, too. It’s also great for bug bites and overall itchy skin. Includes menthol and neem tree oil and is made in the USA. Note that the smell is noticeable and even overpowering for some. You might keep this lotion limited to nighttime use.

The Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream is another solid option. This cream is 100% paraben- and sodium laureth sulfate-free. Formulated specially to heal cuts and wounds, buyers report that their skin heals quickly upon use. This is handy for rashes, too. The 5% tea tree oil concentration is just enough to be potent but safe enough for daily application on the face. Of course, we recommend a skin patch test first. Note that the odor is strong. You might smell like a hospital after using this cream, but your skin will reap all the benefits.

Tea tree oil can combat fungal infections as well. Try using some lotion or cream for athlete’s foot. Or, if your feet are perpetually sweaty, use the lotion for preventative purposes.

FAQ

Q. Will tea tree oil face creams cause breakouts?
A.
Tea tree oil is known for combating acne, but everyone’s skin is different. If you’re concerned, try using the lotion for a week or two and monitor results carefully. We always recommend an allergy test before fully committing to any skincare product.
 

Q. How much tea tree oil is in a face cream?
A.
That depends on the product. A quality cream can have as much as 15% tea tree oil concentrate.
 

Q. Does tea tree oil face cream expire?
A.
An expiration date should be printed somewhere on the jar or tube. A lotion that’s over two years old should be tossed. All lotions should be stored in a cool, dry place.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Ola
    Ola
    Writer

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